|Albacete and Bosch return for face the All Blacks|
Santiago Phelan has made six changes to the starting lineup for Argentina´s home match against the All Blacks this coming Saturday evening in La Plata. Changes have been made at hooker, second-row, scrumhalf, centre and wing.
In search of a first ever win over New Zealand and a first victory in the Rugby Championship Phelan has opted for a much changed team as he looks to get more out of his players. One talking point from the 2012 Rugby Championship was that Phelan made few changes to the Pumas lineup throughout the competition. Indeed, only nineteen players were used to start in the six matches. It left the South Americans fatigued for the final match and an under par Argentine side was defeated by the Wallabies in Rosario.
The team named to face New Zealand this weekend appears to have been selected with Australia in mind. Whilst star second-rower Patricio Albacete is back there is no place in the 23 for Manuel Carizza. Phelan is certain to have him start together with Albacete in the round six match against Australia. This weekend, however sees Albacete joining Julio Farías Cabello in the second-row. They will play behind a familiar front-row which sees Marcos Ayerza and Juan Figallo again named as the starting props while Eusebio Guiñazú has earned a recall ahead of Agustín Creevy who has dropped to the bench.
The starting back-row is unchanged with Juan Manuel Leguizamón and Pablo Matera all but certain to start all six matches. Leguizamón will play at the back of the scrum with Martín Landajo replacing Tomás Cubelli at scrumhalf. Landajo will reform a halves combination with Nicolás Sánchez who is to be the goal kicker in a team without Felipe Contepomi. The 36 year old is on the bench with Santiago Fernández and Marcelo Bosch named as the starting centres. Bosch was given the match off in Perth but returns in place of Goznalo Tiesi who is out of the 23.
Also missing in the backs is Horacio Agulla who did not have his best match in Perth and has been named on the bench with Lucas González Amorosino earning a rare start on the wing. He last played in a run-on match as a winger in 2010 for his country. In naming González Amorosino on the wing Phelan has gone for his most attacking oriented back-three. Juan Imhoff is to start on the left wing and Juan Martín Hernández at fullback. Such a combination has been called for in the past but Phelan has selected wingers who are more reliable as tacklers. With Julien Savea set to face González Amorosino it is likely that Bosch´s drift defense will be called upon to shut down the All Blacks.
1 Marcos Ayerza, 2 Eusebio Guiñazú, 3 Juan Figallo
(Leicester, England), (Bath, England), (Montpellier, France)
4 Julio Farías Cabello, 5 Patricio Albacete
(Tucumán, Argentina), (Toulouse, France)
6 Juan Fernández Lobbe, 8 Juan Manuel Leguizamón, 7 Pablo Matera
(Toulon, France, (Lyon, France), (Alumni, Argentina)
9 Martín Landajo, 10 Nicolás Sánchez
(CASI, Argentina), (Bordeaux-Begles, France)
12 Santiago Fernández, 13 Marcelo Bosch
(Unattached), (Saracens, England)
11 Juan Imhoff, 15 Juan Martín Hernández, 14 Lucas González Amorosino
(Racing Métro, France), (Racing Métro, France), (Unattached)
16 Agustín Creevy (Worcester, England)
17 Nahuel Lobo (Newcastle Falcons, England)
18 Juan Pablo Orlandi (Bath, England)
19 Mariano Galarza (Worcester, England)
20 Benjamín Macome (Tucumán, Argentina)
21 Tomás Cubelli (Belgrano, Argentina)
22 Felipe Contepomi (Newman, Argentina)
23 Horacio Agulla (Bath, England)